St. Joseph Parish

The St. Joseph Parish project involved two small additions and a 12,000 square foot renovation of the historic St. Joseph Parish sanctuary in Cockeysville, Maryland. The intent behind the additions was to facilitate a new radiused seating scheme, rather than a “T” shaped layout where a large portion of the congregation had to view the mass’s celebrants from the side. The footprint of the building had to be enlarged to accommodate this expanded, cohesive seating layout, while maintaining the historic integrity of the building and not draw attention to the extensive work required to complete it. To meet this objective, our skilled team had to meticulously shore up the original structure and seamlessly integrate the new sections with the historic stone, copper gutters & downspouts, and slate roof, navigating immovable obstructions (foundation rock, etc) that were pervasive beneath the church.

In addition to the exterior wall modifications and various ADA site improvements, CAM’s work included the construction of a new altar and stone arch, new ductwork and HVAC distribution, ornamental tile flooring, a coffered ceiling system with a dome and back-lit stain glass oculus, and a radiused cornice with cove lighting around the perimeter of the sanctuary. All of the original stained-glass windows had to be removed and reinstalled due to the extensive drywall finishing work taking place around it.  The building is now equipped with a new sprinkler system, architectural lighting, and hand-crafted millwork. MEP upgrades were made throughout the facility to extend the life and enhance the efficiency of existing equipment.

This project required numerous skilled trades to complete the myriad challenging tasks presented. Most notably, the vast majority of new framing and drywall work had to be conducted from a suspended scaffolding platform to remove the old wood ceiling without damaging the original historic wood roof framing above. This challenge was compounded by the need to conceal the new mechanical distribution throughout before finishing installation of the coffered ceiling system. Along with the custom-built coffers, CAM’s craftsmen created an expansive hand-painted dome within the center of the sanctuary.

Several unforeseen circumstances resulted in a temporary 2-month delay within the 11-month project timeline. This delay required CAM to creatively adjust the schedule and simultaneously work on tasks in order to make up for lost time and still beat the hard deadline of opening by Holy Week (March 25, 2024). In the early stages of work, the rock that was discovered within the historic portion of the church required CAM to redesign the work area within the basement to one half the original size and relocate the Fire Alarm Control Panel to the other side of the room. Asbestos was also discovered within the waterproofing of the historic church, which required extensive abatement. Another issue encountered during the demo phase was an underground heating and water system close to the slab on-grad, which required additional time for replacement. To overcome these hurdles, CAM’s superintendent and project manager rallied the trades and doubled down on close coordination, diligently scheduling tasks be completed concurrently while ensuring these activities were not obstructing one another. CAM was also able to recover this time by working weekends and overtime (without going over-budget), and by maneuvering the scaffolding so that interior renovations for the finishes and the ceiling could be completed simultaneously. This effort required significant cooperation between all trades and supervisors, because it was imperative that work completed from the scaffolding was executed such that it did not present any safety risks to the trades working on the floor trusses below.

CAM also had to coordinate closely with the owner to provide a safe working environment that would not impact the operations of the adjacent, occupied, K-8th school facility. To this effort, CAM coordinated deliveries so that they would not overlap with drop-off and pick-up times for the students. Furthermore, CAM worked closely with utility companies so that electricity and water services were never disrupted during the school’s hours of operation.

On several occasions, CAM saw opportunities to save the owner cost by value engineering different alternatives to line items that had to be purchased. The most significant opportunities presented themselves in the lighting systems and the heating system regulation. By suggesting an alternative regulation to the heating system and enlisting a different lighting supplier who could custom-fabricate a comparable pendant fixture, CAM was able to generate over $100,000 in savings for the owner—a substantial percentage of those respective line items.

This project has a significant communal impact which CAM embraced throughout its various phases. The most storied aspect of this project lies within St. Joseph Parish’s connection to the local Beaver Dam Quarry. When the church was first constructed, stones from the quarry were used to create the building, and many of the immigrant quarry workers were members of the parish. For this project, CAM created a stone arch surrounding the crucifix, above the new tabernacle, sourcing stones from that very same quarry with which the church was originally built. We were joined by the monsignor and architect to hand-select the new stones which had the most authentic look and feel. This feature not only serves as only the most prominent visual focal point behind the priest during mass, but also as a reminder that the parish is a place built from the community and for the community.

Maryland Food Bank – Foodworks Addition

CAM completed 21,000 sqft of interior expansions and additions at the Food Bank’s 100k sqft headquarters facility in Halethorpe, MD, which remained fully functional over the course of construction, to avoid any interruption in service to those in need. This project improves Food Bank’s distribution capacity, provides educational opportunities to certify new chefs and kitchen managers from low income communities, and greatly enhances the administrative office environment needed so their nearly 200 hardworking staff members can better carry out their mission. Our scope of the work included a substantial Kitchen Expansion and Renovation, building a new Loading and Receiving Queue, Dry Storage Area, state-of-the-art Conference Rooms, Private Offices, and Collaboration Areas, a new Break Room & Training Area, and a New Celebrated Entry to the sorting warehouse for volunteers and employees. This project was extremely challenging given the need to establish a temporary kitchen, insert completely sound-proof mezzanine structures within an occupied facility, interface additions with a pre-engineered building, and keep the Food Bank completely operational over the course of construction, given the mission-critical work that they carry out on a daily basis.

The Lofts at Stehli Silk Mill

Originally built in 1897, the 11-acre Mill complex comprises six (6) distinct buildings that employed 2,100 female textile workers at its peak, and it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the structures are three stories tall, with the main structure (bordering Martha Ave.) spanning over 900 linear feet, making it the longest building east of the Mississippi when it was constructed. The exterior elevation is characterized by a strong series of brick piers that correlate with the close beam and column spacing (7’0”OC), which produces a 300 lbs/sqft floor load capacity. Tall (9’0”) windows accentuate the façade and are woven between the piers to provide maximum ambient light, as was customary with factories of
that era.

CAM is in the process of converting this mill into 165 loft-style apartments, consisting primarily of one-bedroom units with a mix of two-bedroom units and studios, with occupancy scheduled for January 2024. Additionally, a resident clubhouse/common area is planned for the old women’s cafeteria, which is a single-story structure with a clerestory and exposed steel truss roof framing system. Ancillary structures related to the former boiler plant will be utilized to provide amenities such as a fitness center and brew pub open to the public, as well as leasable space for some smaller retail/office users. The interiors will have a combination of restored materials (ie: wood flooring) and brush blasted exposed brick walls and beams, as well as all new partitioning throughout. All new electrical service, and HVAC systems will be implemented, along with necessary low voltage systems. We take a minimalist approach to our design to allow as much of the original building features to show through. There are 1,400+ windows of all shapes, sizes & styles that CAM is replacing according to NPS guidelines.

Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co. – HQ

The Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Headquarters renovation project fundamentally began as a major fire and water damage restoration effort, and quickly transitioned into an opportunity to retrofit two entire floors of their facility to meet the demands of the modern office culture. After a brief RFQ process, Chesapeake decided to engage CAM as a repeat client of theirs over the past 15 years. The heart of this project involved the construction of a new central break area, which functions more as a community gathering space with a variety of different seating options, food service offerings, and basic culinary equipment to assist employees who bring their own lunch. The genesis behind this space was to provide a welcoming common area amenity that employees could either utilize individually, with one another, or even with external facing clients. The architect’s goal was to make this a visually distinctive space that will impress upon every visitor and staff member who walks off the elevator into level one of the office building.

The linchpin of their concept called for replacing an old drop ceiling with multiple acoustical clouds, and leaving the rest of the structural slab exposed above. Executing this look required an extensive amount of clean-up within the former plenum, to demo extraneous low voltage wiring, bundle up active IT/data wiring within black corrugated piping, and consolidate electrical conduit runs into specific areas. CAM then sprayed the entire above ceiling area black to help any remaining MEP systems disappear from view, which helps maintain the occupant’s focus on the space in front of them.

Other elements of this job included the construction of an all-new fitness center with connected ADA restrooms/locker rooms, a massive new training room with a folding partition, a variety of small conference rooms designed for brainstorming sessions and zoom calls, and completely new finishes and systems furniture layout within the open areas on either side of the core of levels one and two. On level one, the project also involved shifting many of the building’s main support functions into more interior portions of the floorplate without natural light, etc; as a result, CAM helped create a new mail distribution room, IT support areas, copy/print rooms, and storage rooms.

Some of the most challenging facets of this project pertained to the limited working hours, given the continuously occupied nature of this facility during construction. Certain trades preferred to work off-hours to avoid disruptions to Chesapeake’s employees, and CAM facilitated the accommodation by being physically present on the jobsite for numerous evenings, weekends, and early morning meetings. CAM’s PM also wore the hat of superintendent, spending half of his day working out of the on-site office of Chesapeake’s facility manager, which facilitated immediate communication with the owner, yielded swift answers to questions, and helped approve design tweaks when beneficial to the overall project intent or schedule. CAM ensured that noise would be kept to a minimum during normal business hours, and that life safety systems were sustained over the course of the job. One tricky subtlety of the project involved preserving a large section of the existing ceiling grid on one of the floors, which forced trades to employ thoughtful integration strategies at the connection points and exercise caution for all relocation work above. Lastly, CAM was able to save the owner tens of thousands of dollars by salvaging and re-installing nearly all of the prior doors, frames, and hardware that had been removed and stored on-site during the demolition phase.

Montebello Elementary/Middle School

The Montebello Elementary/Middle School project encompassed a 74,000 sf systemic renovation and complete interior gut of a historic school property, restoring the two existing buildings back to shell condition and then constructing all new improvements throughout. There was both a historic restoration component on the exterior of the existing structures, as well as a compatible newly constructed “cafeterorium” wing (20,000 sf) which had to be nestled within this confined site and communicate seamlessly between multiple distinct floor elevations, with the help of a brand new ADA stair tower.

One of the main goals of the project was to undo a series of inconsistent, incompatible renovation efforts over the decades, while highlighting the original architectural features of the building through a variety of restoration and reconstruction efforts:

  • new architectural shingled roofs
  • rounded architectural bronze gutter and downspout system to match the historic copper material salvaged on the field house
  • basketweave masonry restoration and cleaning of the architectural stone, steps, columns, balustrade, needlepointing, and school name engraving
  • replacement of over 300 existing windows with aluminum clad window systems to replicate the style and light pattern of the remaining historic windows
  • capture traditional stone archways and architectural features at the entry canopy through the second floor windows of breakout areas as well as a classroom and “wholeness” room
  • gym renovation repurposed existing stage façade, brought out the elegance of the arched windows, and dropped a drywall ceiling beneath the formerly exposed girder trusses to conceal new HVAC and improve acoustics for the space’s theatrical/assembly functions.
  • Renovated internal stairwell in the rear, with sweeping views overlooking Lake Montebello
  • Expansive city views out of collaborative learning areas as well as classrooms, overlooking 33rd street toward City College, the old Memorial Stadium site, and row homes rising up the hillside towards the horizon

This job contained a few unique features for a PreK-8th school, such as a locker room, hybrid library-media center with bulkhead accent lighting, and a video production studio with greenscreen, display mounting racks, and hookups for an iMac editing booth. One core component of this job was the construction of a $2 million state of the art kitchen with large walk-in refrigerator-freezer boxes, steam/convection ovens, stovetop, boiling hot water vats, warmers, automatic dishwashing equipment, and two individual serving lines to serve the brand new cafeteria (which doubles as a multipurpose room). Tall ceilings, architectural accent lighting, acoustical panels, and an extensive sound system make this space suitable for performances, community meetings, and other events. Finally, CAM executed the construction of a very difficult outdoor learning area between the new and historic buildings, installing planter beds, wide concrete seating, and staircases for students to congregate and classes to be held outdoors in good weather. We had to contend with a ten-foot elevation change spanning a distance of less than twenty feet within this newly formed courtyard.

By no means was this an easy undertaking for the A&E team or CAM, as this site presented a number of inherent obstacles given existing conditions. Challenging features included steep slopes (50’ drop from Harford Road to Curran Drive), outdoor learning areas and playgrounds wedged between structures, inserting state-of-the art mechanical equipment within restricted spaces (former boiler rooms), and a bulkhead pocket detail around all historic window openings (to preserve original dimensions, enhance natural light/views, while concealing new ceiling cassettes within modern drop ceiling systems). Thoughtful sequencing and stocking of materials in the building was necessary to sustain progress despite having a single access lane for supplies and crane mobilization.

Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School

The Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School project involved renovating the existing 75,000 square foot historic school building and constructing a 45,000 square foot ground-up classroom addition, which effectively doubled the enrollment capacity of this site. The project also involved a variety of site improvements, namely a multi-purpose soccer field (satisfying a major community priority), new parking/loading areas, a playground within a newly created courtyard area, and various fencing, sidewalk, and other frontage improvements to enable students’ ability to take advantage of the shaded front yard space. JRS Architects took a clean modern approach to the design of the new middle-school wing with modern finishes and a sleek commercial glassline to seamlessly integrate with the existing masonry façade of Highlandtown Elementary School. Expansion of the PreK and Kindergarten programs was another key goal of this project, creating vibrant interactive learning environments with multiple flexible teacher’s stations and private kiddie restrooms in each home room.

Prominent new features of this “21st Century Schools” project included advanced lighting controls with occupied sensor modes, which adjust as outdoor lighting conditions change, “One Screen” smart boards with integrated pointers and teacher microphone system in every classroom, A/V boxes hidden above dummy ceiling tiles, and all new internet service tying into BCPS’s citywide emergency response network (with repeaters in each classroom). CAM also established dedicated vocational-tech (R&D) rooms with reeled power chords, eyewash stations, and an equipment storage room, allowing students to experiment with robotics and other power tools to gain exposure to engineering and related trades. Additionally, the job provided new art classrooms with extensive casework, drying racks, and kiln rooms, as well as a new music room with acoustical wall panels, deflectors, and an instrument storage area.

In order to satisfy the MSA’s Owner Controlled Insurance Program on this CMaR project, CAM deployed a cloud-based workforce visibility platform known as “Eyrus”. This software aided our team’s efforts in the field by monitoring all personnel that enters the site, while also serving as a manpower enforcement tool by tracking subcontractor attendance and labor hours on-site. This program enhanced the safety and security of this project by only allowing personnel to enter the LOD of the property if they had attended a safety orientation, passed a background check, and received a badge. CAM was able to accurately report on Local Resident and New Hire contributions to this project and efficiently manage the Certified Payroll Reporting process via GPS microchips placed in the hardhat of every employee. CAM, ownership, and all subs had access to a custom reporting dashboard on PC, mobile, or tablet, which allowed all parties to quickly retrieve project data and successfully meet these workforce development goals.

Notably, we launched within the peak of Covid, just a few months after the government shut down all non-essential businesses, and most other industries were fully working from home. CAM’s project management team had to get creative in order to keep the project within budget and maintain a tight schedule in the face of long material delays and the unavailability of a wide swath of common materials (metals, woods, plastics, resins, glues, chip-dependent products). This conversation began early during pre-construction, and we worked hard to pro-actively communicate with our architectural and engineering partners to convey the challenges we were seeing in real time. We worked diligently to identify alternative, substantially equivalent products, when possible, and served as a conduit between subcontractors’ suppliers and MSA/BCPS, as well as their design team. In some cases, adjustments were made to more readily-available materials and components. In instances where substitutions were not possible (ie: switchgear – with specialized breakers being imported from New Mexico), CAM had to exercise patience and find a way to work under suboptimal conditions (via temp services, generators, etc). Despite the building not having permanent power in place until 2 months prior to final delivery and occupancy, we were able to finish in time for the ribbon cutting and welcome the new student body population into the facility following the New Year’s holiday.

NDMU – University Academic Building – OT Labs

This project consisted of the conversion of approximately 5,000 square feet of unfinished storage space into Occupational Therapy Labs, within a partially-below grade level of NDMU’s University Academic Building. This suite will be utilized as hands-on learning environment for students aspiring to enter the Home Healthcare and Physical Therapy subsectors of nursing. The goal of this program is to train young professionals who will be assisting elderly/injured patients seeking to return home after stay in a hospital or outpatient rehab center. In addition to the collaborative teaching and admin areas, CAM’s fit-out included a new handicap-accessible restroom, laundry room, medical beds, and kitchen, to simulate the environment they would encounter in a typical assisted living facility or independent residence.

The existing gravel floor had to be leveled to create a suitable sub-base for a newly-poured concrete slab, and a new exterior entrance required tapering existing pavers to interface at the proper elevation to meet ADA. Significant MEP modifications were required, tapping into existing water and sanitary lines (below-grade), routing electrical back to panels in the adjacent mech. room, expanding existing IT/security systems, adding new VAV boxes and ductwork, and retrofitting the shell sprinkler system. Work had to be competed with time-of-day considerations, reserving certain activities for off-hours given the occupied nature of building and classrooms directly above.

The Lofts at Pontiac Mills

The Rhody Award-Winning Pontiac Mills Development is the adaptive reuse of more than 20 separate, historic, textile mill buildings into a mixed-use complex comprised of both office/retail and residential rental apartments. You can view a before/after video of the development at the link below.

https://www.preserveri.org/2021-award-videos

This historic textile mill complex was the original producer for Fruit of the Loom brand of cloth. Approximately 135 apartments and 50,000 SF of office/retail space will be developed within the existing mill complex, along the banks of the Pawtuxet River in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Work on the development began in 2016 and will encompass the renovation of approximately 200,000 SF, with first occupancy in 2018 and all phases completed by 2019/2020. The estimated cost for the entire project is $35,000,000.00. The project has been approved as an historic structure/complex from both the State of Rhode Island and the National Park Service. Pontiac Mills, originally built in 1863, has been declared a Nationally Registered Historic District, and it will utilize various state and federal tax credit programs.

Connection Center – NPBC

The Connection Center is a new 7,500 sf, multi-purpose center that will be primarily used for ministry and fellowship activities. This center will serve as the congregations hub for connection.

The project includes a large gathering and welcoming hall, administrative offices, and large banquet kitchen; it will provide the ability to do ministry in an even greater way.